IPL, in my book, refers to India’s Power Log. For I understand IPL chief has such clout that he can locate his office-cum-residence at a five-star hotel, order change of venue of matches at two days’ notice; and can even divert Air India flights. It appears, a scheduled Delhi-Mumbai flight was re-routed via Jaipur the other day, to pick up players of IPL Mumbai team. And the dumb-driven fare-paying passengers were informed of the diversion only after they boarded the flight in Delhi, that too 45 minutes behind schedule.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, Air India spokesman told the media that there has been no violation of rules. The airlines regional directors are empowered to take such decision. And we had Air India chairman Arvind Jadhav rubbing it in with his remark - “all diversions have taken place with prior approval of the relevant authorities”. Diversions, did he say ? Apparently, Jaipur wasn’t the only flight diversion the airlines management ordered for IPL’s benefit. Earlier this week Air-India reportedly ran an IPL charter to Chennai from Chandigarh, after pulling out an aircraft from the Delhi-Coimbatore route.
Just in case you and I think IPL is being shown undue favours, the airlines spokesman went on record to say all team members picked up from jaipur were holding valid tickets and that Air India was IPL’s official carrier”. I don’t suppose it occurred to Air India management that IPL ought to be made accountable to the inconvenience and the time loss caused to other passengers, extra fuel consumed due to route diversion, and the airport landing charges at Jaipur.
Air India, like other public sector undertakings, appears to have in place a convenient set of rules and procedures. The rules are invoked to save skins, as they were, to justify a patent dis-service to the traveling public . Rules can at times be invoked to hinder efficiency and effective functioning. Haven’t we heard of govt. and public sector employees resorting to, what they call, a work-to-rule agitation ?